ANN: Oh no? My mistake.
GWYNETH: I’m doing my breathing. I’m in control of my body and life. I’m the goddess of the universe that is me.
Ann raises her eyebrows.
ANN: A goddess would be free to scream. If there was pain. If she wanted to scream.
GWYNETH: I don’t want to scream.
GWYNETH: Where is my doula.
ANN: I’m here to help, love.
Gwyneth grits her teeth. Deep breath through the nose.
GWYNETH: You’re not helping.
Ann rubs Gwyneth’s back. Her touch is soothing. Gwyneth leans into it. The pain passes. Gwyneth leans back. Ann dabs Gwyneth’s head with a damp cloth. Ann lights some sage on fire and waves it gently around the room.
ANN: What’s her name?
GWYNETH: It’s gender-neutral.
GWYNETH: Good for a boy or a girl.
ANN: She will bear fruit. She will be sweet but also bitter, sharp but also soft,
Gwyneth opens her eyes. She really looks at Ann.
ANN: A good name.